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Greenville Speedway

McCool grabs pole position at Gumbo Nationals

November 5, 2011, 5:41 am
By Ben Shelton
PRO Dirt Car Series
Bub McCool set fast time and won the first heat at Greenville. (photobyconnie.com)
Bub McCool set fast time and won the first heat at Greenville. (photobyconnie.com)

GREENVILLE, Miss. (Nov. 4) — Home-state ace Bub McCool earned the pole position on Friday at Greenville Speedway's fifth annual Gumbo Nationals, the track's richest event that drew 34 Super Late Models to the quarter-mile oval.

The fast-qualifying McCool, of Vicksburg, will start on the front row with Ronny Lee Hollingsworth of Northport, Ala., after both won heat races during Friday's prelims for the $7,000-to-win event scheduled for Saturday night on the Mississippi Delta. Timothy Culp of West Monroe, La., and Jack Sullivan of Greenbrier, Ark., also notched heat race victories and will start in the second and third rows of the Promoters Racing Organization Dirt Car Series event. | Notebook | Slideshow

In the first heat, McCool started up front with Neil Baggett and went on to lead every lap, fending off a mid-race charge from Chad Dupont to claim the win. McCool, Dupont, hometown driver Greg Fore and Baggett transferred to the feature.

In heat two,Chad Thrash and Bo Gordon were slated to start on the front row, but Gordon was unable to make the call after flipping on the second lap of his time trials. Culp charged from his third starting spot for the victory over Ross Camponovo, Mike Palasini Jr., and Josh Putnam while Thrash struggled to a sixth-place finish.

Hollingsworth battled B.J. Robinson much of the third heat before wrapping up the victory, while Robinson, eighth-starting Allen Tippen and Johnny Stokes transferred to the main event along with the winning Hollingsworth.

In the fourth and final heat, Sullivan completed a rally from his sixth starting spot by overtaking Kyle Pleasant with two laps remaining. Pleasant also transferred to the main event along with brothers Rick and Brian Rickman.

On the undercard in the Crate Late Model division, Stokes grabbed the pole for the 50-lap NeSmith Chevrolet Late Model Series-sanctioned division feature that pays $3,000 to the winner by virtue of his victory in the first heat. Other heat race winners filling spots in the first two rows of the Crate feature are Bubba Harrison, Duke Palasini and Ashley Newman.

Notes: Saturday's schedule begins with pit gates opening at 3 p.m. and grandstands opening at 4 p.m. The drivers' meeting is set for 5:45 p.m. with hot laps to follow. ... The 70-lap Super Late Model feature pays at least $700 to every starter. ... The event is sponsored by Veteran's Pension Planners of America, MMC, Wilkerson Diesel & Tire, Barrett's Custom Spraying and Ed's Auto. ... The 34 Super Late Model entrants represented seven states. ... Home-state driver Eric Cooley and Kentuckian Tanner English will start on the pole of Saturday's consolation races in the Super Late Model division. ... Johnny Stokes topped 33 qualifiers in the Crate Late Model division.

Heat race results

(Top four transfer to main event)

First heat: Bub McCool, Chad Dupont, Greg Fore, Neil Baggett, Eric Cooley, Seth McCormick, Eddie Rickman, Christopher Showah. Scratched: Jamie Elam.

Second heat: Timothy Culp, Ross Camponovo, Mike Palasini Jr., Josh Putnam, Mathew Turner, Chad Thrash, Clay Fisher. Scratched: Bo Gordon.

Third heat: Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, B.J. Robinson, Allen Tippen, Johnny Stokes, Tanner English, Dewayne Estes, Rodney Wing, Chad Washington, Gary Lawson.

Fourth heat: Jack Sullivan, Kyle Pleasant, Rick Rickman, Brian Rickman, Kyle Beard, Chad Stapleton, Dane Dacus, Doug Showah.

Gumbo Nationals lineup

Row 1: McCool, Hollingsworth
Row 2: Culp, Sullivan
Row 3: Dupont, Robinson
Row 4: Camponovo, Pleasant
Row 5: Fore, Tippen
Row 6: Palasini, R. Rickman
Row 7: Baggett, Stokes
Row 8: Putnam, B. Rickman
Row 9: Consy transfers
Row 10: Consy transfers
Row 11: Consy transfers
Row 12: Consy transfers
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